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Spirit of volunteerism soars above the haze

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Although the PSI may have reached unhealthy levels over the weekend, many public spirited residents of Singapore braved the haze to register as volunteers for the upcoming 8th ASEAN Para Games (APG) 2015.

About 400 volunteers attended the APG volunteer role & venue confirmation exercise. In total, there are 3700 volunteering opportunities during the Games. Volunteers were briefed on the myriad of roles and channeled into areas that best suited their abilities. 

APG volunteers

Lai Ching Kwang, ActiveSG Chief, speaks during a seminar at the ASEAN Para Games volunteers recruitment drive. Photo: Sport Singapore

“This ASEAN Para Games is not about just organising a Games for our para athletes to compete but to celebrate the human spirit,” said Mr Lai Chin Kwang, Chief of ActiveSG during the seminar.

After the seminar, the volunteers then broke up into smaller groups to get to know their managers. New volunteers then had their accreditation photographs taken and were fitted for their uniforms, know colloquially as purples and khakis.

“Sport volunteerism is not only for young people. There are the aunties and uncles and die-hard fans who come forward for every single sports event. APG is special because it is about enabling abilities. Through this event you pull in a different set of people who will view sport differently,” said Siti Aidawani.

“In Team Nila, we live by three values, courage, passion and friendship… these values make a good volunteer” added the venue service manager for Marina Bay Sands during the APG.

“Team Nila is more than just ad hoc volunteering as part of Vision 2030 we want to create a sustaining sporting environment for the volunteers. A place where they can learn and grow.”

APG volunteers

Volunteers are fitted for their uniforms at the ASEAN Para Games volunteers recruitment drive. Photo: Sport Singapore 

Lau Ee Wun, a volunteer Games Service Officer (GSO) at the ASEAN Para Games, said: “It is not easy to step out of your comfort zone and there is always a first time. Everyone has a talent they can contribute.

“Maybe you may not know it yet, but you learn much more about yourself during the experience,” said Ee Wun, who was born deaf and works in administration support and volunteers regularly at Touch Silent Club.

She has this message to all Team Singapore Para-athletes: “Despite physical disabilities, your passion has inspired us. And I am behind you all the way. Go go Singapore!”

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